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  1. I'm currently in my first year in a Ph.D. program coming in straight from my B.A. I came to work with a professor who is currently untenured, but most likely receiving tenure in the next few months. My first semester with them was okay—mostly because I met with them often because they were the instructor of one of my courses. Now in the spring, I've hardly seen them. They seem to always be busy, juggling many tasks and taking on new roles (and new student advisees for next Fall). I understand that graduate study is meant to train us to be independent scholars, but I've been left with many unre
  2. I am entering my second year of my M.Ed. and working with a supervisor who, up until recently, has been very supportive. Due to individual personal issues that happened to each of us this winter & spring, I have made little progress on my thesis. While my personal issue has been resolved, my supervisor's issue continues and they remain largely unavailable for support. Since I am now running out of time, I have had to change my project completely to one that is "easier" and more "doable." While I don't mind this—and, in fact, am appreciative that I still have the ability to complete a proje
  3. I'm coming to the end of my first year as a PhD student and I feel like I'm doing a bad job at research and school. I've felt behind my peers from the get-go, at least partly because I made a major field switch between my undergrad and graduate program. I'll explain my coursework troubles and research concerns separately. Coursework: I'm taking 3 classes this semester, which I realize is a lot. I have the same professor for two of the classes. After taking our last exam of the semester, this professor released a list of our names and ranks in his classes. I'm doing slightly below ave
  4. I recently applied for a research based degree and I have indeed been offered admission (with funding), scheduled to start this fall. Prior to my acceptance, I had an interview with my prospective advisor and we both seemed to have similar interests, so they recommended me for admission. Most of the funding is indeed coming from the supervisor rather than the department. The supervisor is a newly-hired assistant professor, just starting out and building up the group from scratch, so I didn't really have much information regarding the available projects and research directions they in
  5. How is the application reviewed in the interview phase of EECS MS/PhD at UC Berkeley? If interviewed and accepted into the program, would the interviewer (by default) be the PhD supervisor? Or, is the student first accepted into the program and needs to find a research supervisor later? If the students are first accepted into the program and not by a specific advisor, how would funding be handled?
  6. Hi everybody! This is my first time posting to this forum so I hope I'm doing this correctly. I am about to begin studying for my PhD Qualifying Exams in Art History, and I am trying to get a sense of the average number of books Art History students read for exams in other graduate programs. The professors in my department have ZERO consistency amongst each other when assigning book lists. Lists range anywhere from 50 to 300 books, with 4 month reading period. When the graduate students tried to address this discrepancy in a meeting with our Director of Graduate Studies, we were told "This is
  7. Next week, I have to interview faculty interested in serving as either an advisor or second reader to my thesis (MA English Lit. btw). (1) What questions should I ask them to ensure that we will work well together? (2) What other advice do you have for this process? Thanks
  8. Some people say that your mentor is EVERYTHING in grad school. How important is it to stick with a big, influential name who knows and wants me, in a really bad department/school, when he seems to have some control issues that could impact our working relationship over the next 4 years? Here is the TL;DR version for those who get frustrated by the tons of text that follow : Program A: Great metro area; low program ranking; my advisor is the big kahuna in the department and field but he has some troubling personality quirks; he's the only faculty member to work with in my dept.; I'm
  9. Hi all! I'm [supposedly] at the end of my studies, but I've had what I feel is an awful advisor/student experience and I’m concerned it’ll prevent me from finishing. I’m currently finishing writing up my dissertation. The majority of it is written, I completed my last science (work) chapter earlier this week and am now working on my introductory and concluding chapters. Short version: Problem: I haven’t gotten meaningful feedback on the last 60% of my research work and it stresses me out! Put short, my thesis is three mini-projects, with the last 2 being spin-offs from the firs
  10. Dear all, I've been offered admission by two universities (UCSD and UVa). I am currently weighing these two wonderful options, and I’m considering a lot of factors including prospective advisors and mentors, academic culture, university resources, graduate placement, funding, and location. I know that the most important of these is my future supervisor. Now, if all other things were equal, I'd be left with what seems to be a Manichaean dilemma. My recruiter/prospective supervisor at UCSD has been simply great. Besides the fact that my research seems to be perfectly aligned with
  11. I am a third year PhD candidate in the sciences, funded as a TA. By many measures, I am doing well in graduate school (publishing, 4.0 GPA, receiving grants and awards, and will graduate on time). However, my advisor has been rude to me since I started graduate school (ex. Saying that I have a bitch face, providing feedback for grants like "I wouldn't fund you.", making condescending comments in manuscript drafts that either directly or indirectly say that I am stupid, telling me that American women are stupid and prostitutes, etc.). His words and actions have made me feel nauseated about stay
  12. Hi everyone, I am trying to minimize the chance of ending up with a bad advisor. I am applying to colleges in England - Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College, Kings College, etc - for a PhD program in Computer Science. I have heard UCL allows one to change the advisor after getting admits with funding from CS department. Do you which other departments in England (they can even be different from the one I mentioned) allow you to change your advisor? Thanks! Gan
  13. Hello! I am looking to apply to PhD programs in Religion or History, but preferably religion if the university offers a religion program. I am trying to find potential supervisors for a Phd focusing on the English Reformation. My research broadly focuses on the English Reformation and the intermixing between the role of the state and populace in the matters of religion. I also do a lot with the Book of Common Prayer and the transformation of liturgy. Unless an extraordinary circumstance happens, PhDs outside of the US offer very limited and very hard to obtain funding. So for that re
  14. Hey all I am drafting email to send to my potential advisor . What to include ? what not to include ? I know I should read their previous papers , how many of their papers should I read ? I heard it was like 12 -20 papers , is it true ? I feel like it is a lot of work (considering the fact that I will be emailing about 10 professors so 20*10 = 200 papers that's almost a masters thesis ) one more thing, how many advisors should I email? 10 ? 20 ? Any tips is appreciated
  15. For any current or former EAPSI applicants, how did you word the initial contact with prospective host researchers? I can't decide which of the following options is more appropriate and likely to be well-received: "I propose to research XYZ using methods XYZ. Would you be willing to host me and fund the proposed research?" "My general interests are XYZ. Do you have any ongoing projects in this research area that I could participate in during summer 2017?" I feel like Option 2 is more polite, but Option 1 conveys a "go-getter" perspective that could be desirable in certain circu
  16. Does anybody have a dissertation proposal story to share? Anything related to deadlines that got missed because no one told you what the deadline was, communicating with multiple faculty, some who rarely respond to emails, departments that don't communicate the rules but expect them to be followed, etc. Also, advice on how to deal with difficulties like these tactfully without sounding snarky or blame-y (sometimes I feel like writing, "I sent you an email about this two weeks ago") would be great! Most of the faculty are great, but I am just not catching on to the styles of others. Thanks!
  17. I'm nearing my last semester of my two year Master's program (anthropology) and I feel like I've barely learned enough to scape by in my field, never mind apply to PhD programs. Unfortunately(/fortunately) I know I am not alone in this feeling, as two other students in my cohort feel the same way and share many of the same frustrations. My advisor is very respected and connected in my field and is available for occasional meetings, however, he offers very, very little direction or concrete guidance, and has actually said to another MA student regarding their thesis to "just get it done," stron
  18. Hello Everyone, This is a follow up/ part 2 to an earlier question that I have posted: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/85886-advice-on-contacting-potential-phd-advisors/#comment-1058425898 If you want to read it for some context that may help you answer my questions but I'll give you the brief summary. I have applied to a PhD program at Georgia State. After already applying one of the professors in the program replied to an email and told me that next time I should try and contact a professor in the program for potential advisement. So I actually winded up meeting with
  19. Hi everyone I started my masters and my advisor is a young assistant professor. When I contacted her to before application, she said that she had a project while when I came here (another country), she said that we have to find a topic. The problem is she is new to the field and does not help me at all. She expects me to go and find a topic myself. I tried to have meetings at first regularly, but after a couple of meeting that I noticed she does not give a me helpful feedback I stopped. It has been a more than a month now that I havent talked to her. Today I prepared a table of previous s
  20. I'm in my third year of my PhD in English working on my oral lists right now. Unfortunately, my advisor and I are not getting along. She doesn't think my work is up to par, and made it clear that if I don't "learn how to write better" that she worries I will not be ready to move on to the dissertation stage (I have taken this to mean that she thinks I should drop out if I can't prove I'm good enough). She told me this in June. This semester I've been working on a paper to prove to her that I belong here. I'm in a publication workshop led by our department chair, and we've been workshoppi
  21. So I made an error in my email to a potential advisor when expressing my interest in her lab. I bymistake wrote the wrong lab name. This was 7 days back, and she hasn't replied. Will this affect my chances of admission? Is there anyway I can rectify this?
  22. I'm currently in my second year PhD at Stanford. My advisor took a position at UCLA (and with that, an endowed professorship as well). I am a bit torn as to whether I should leave and follow him to UCLA, which would require me transferring out of my program and my PhD would come from UCLA. The benefit I see from this would be an increase in money to spend on research, and a chance to build a lab from ground zero and really be a driving factor in the direction of the lab. Plus, he's a great advisor. My other option is to remain at Stanford, pick a new advisor and move in a new direction. Benefi
  23. My advisor assigned me a project using a statistical method I don't think he fully understood. It's new, one he hasn't used before, and it is in a dense, poorly written article. I have expressed to him that I felt we didn't understand it well enough, that we should consider collaborating with others to make sure the method was tenable, and that I felt it might not work. However, he blew these concerns off. When the initial results looked promising, I let it go. A few months later, my latest results look weird as hell. I reread the article for hundredth time to see if we had missed somethi
  24. so I've received the offer from one of my dream department (not from grad school yet.) My advisor suggested me to attend the weekly lab meeting, and some other labmates started to ask me questions about their work. (since I've done similar things before) My biggest issue is that I feel a lot of pressure: if I don't meet their expectations about my ability to do things reflected in my application, will my offer be influenced? Also I feel it's too early for them to involve me in the lab. (still half a year away! And I have to do my own heavy coursework too.) They also asked me if I received the
  25. I got an offer for a summer internship in industry but I'm afraid my PI won't let me do it. My PI has never been supportive of the internship idea since my 1st year (I'm in my 4th year), no matter how well I perform, and how hard I try to convince him. Last year, he told another company that made me a summer internship offer that I couldn't do it because of my scholarship, which is false. The truth was that I was the only person in the lab and he needed someone to do research. According to my committee I can graduate any time of Fall 2016 depending on how fast I can find a job and write
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